• Mark Foster, The Child Protection Company
News & Views
Post Covid Safeguarding – what to look out for
Date posted: 12 August 2021
Mark Foster of The Child Protection Company highlights specific safeguarding measures to watch out for upon your return to post-COVID in-person music delivery

As life slowly returns to normal and the musical world picks itself back up, it would be easy to think that eventually everything will go back to the way it was before the pandemic. In many instances that may be the case, but safeguarding is probably not one of them.

Children and young people have featured heavily in the news of late, what with vaccinations, months off school, missed exams and the mixed quality of home schooling. However there has been another, less talked about, effect of the pandemic, domestic abuse.

With COVID-19 protection measures taking front and centre, it’s easy to overlook that during lockdown, instances of domestic abuse have been on the rise and many children and vulnerable adults will have been trapped at home with their abuser, with far less access to outside scrutiny.

The pandemic, ensuing lockdown and social distancing measures have also had a significant impact on children and vulnerable adult’s mental and emotional health and wellbeing, exposing and heightening the challenges that many are facing.

So, as your contact with people increases, here’s a list of safeguarding tips to keep to hand as we all get used to the new ‘normal’:

  • Make sure your safeguarding policy reflects what you’re doing particularly if it’s different from before lockdown (which it probably will be).
  • Make sure all staff (and volunteers) know who their Safeguarding Lead is.
  • If the Lead is not present all the time, nominate a Deputy and ensure they are appropriately trained.
  • As well as staff (and volunteers) having access to the contact details for the Safeguarding Lead/Deputy, ensure the contact details of your local authority support teams, safeguarding partners, social services and the police are included with your safeguarding policies and procedures and staff know where these are kept.
  • Double check all such contact details are correct and have not changed due to different working practices being adopted elsewhere (many local authority staff are continuing to work from home rather than their offices, for example, so contact numbers may have changed).
  • Make sure everyone’s safeguarding training is up to date, especially anyone who has been furloughed or not worked for some time. All staff should have Basic Awareness training that covers children and adults at risk and the Lead and Deputy should also have Advanced safeguarding training.
  • Reinforce to your team that everyone should be extra vigilant for any signs of abuse. More time at home for individuals who suffer from abuse means more opportunity for things to go wrong.
  • Remember anyone can be a victim of abuse, at any age, at any time and there is no such thing as a wrong referral when it comes to safeguarding. Have the confidence to report any concerns and ensure that everyone on your team is equally confident to do so. Effective safeguarding is a team effort, now more than ever.

So what does this mean to me, here and now?

Basically, report any safeguarding concerns you may have about any child, young person or vulnerable adult you come into contact with. It may be vital in preventing abuse occurring or reoccurring. If you’re part of an organisation that has a person responsible for safeguarding, report your concerns to them. If not, contact your Local Safeguarding Children Partnership (their contact details will be listed on Google). You will not be criticised for raising your concerns, as you could be bringing, quite literally, the last piece of the puzzle. If you’re the Safeguarding Lead then where a referral is required, it should be made within 24 hours.
Children, young people and vulnerable adult’s safety and welfare is paramount and the sharing of information with the relevant individuals, organisations and agencies is absolutely essential. Remember: Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

Learn more about how to handle a safeguarding issue

The Child Protection Company offers 2 online safeguarding courses for those working in the music sector, both of which are available 24/7 and come with verifiable certificates available to download immediately on successful completion. These courses take between 1 to 2 hours to complete entirely online, and they have been developed in association with The National Federation of Music Societies – Making Music, with respect to the Safeguarding for Music Groups course, and Music Mark, whose membership consists of Music Education Services and Hubs, schools; individuals; HE/FE bodies; with respect to the Safeguarding in Music Education course.

For more information about the courses, or to start training immediately, please visit the Child Protection Company website. Alternatively, you can give their friendly customer support team a call on 01327 552030 or email them at help@childprotectioncompany.com.


Sound Sense members can head over to our dedicated safeguarding page in the members area for the latest information on safeguarding and community music.